Citing ‘erasure’ from map, residents express outrage at Taman Rimba Kiara’s road signage removal

Soo Wern Jun
·3-min read
A general view of Rimba Kiara Park in Kuala Lumpur December 6, 2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A general view of Rimba Kiara Park in Kuala Lumpur December 6, 2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — A Taman Rimba Kiara road signage which has stood for years at the entrance to the park has been removed recently despite the Federal Territories Minsiter’s orders to not “touch” the park.

Residents discovered the signage had gone missing yesterday morning — at the junction of Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad and Jalan Abang Haji Openg here — and are furious as they fear this could be one step closer to “erasing” the park from the map.

“This comes not long after DBKL’s attempt to rename Taman Rimba Kiara as ‘Taman Awam Bukit Kiara’, which Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said was a mistaken move by a DBKL officer and had reversed this move after a huge outcry from residents,” they said at the Selamatkan Taman Rimba Kiara Facebook page, referring to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

“It appears to be the next step in a quiet, creeping plan to remove all evidence and traces of the original footprint of Taman Rimba Kiara, even while the court case is still ongoing at the Court of Appeal.”

Last week, residents raised the matter with Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa when workers were observed erecting poles in the middle of a football field inside the park.

“This work was also halted and the KL Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Dahlan had promised that the poles would be removed. [But] the poles are still there in the middle of the field,” the Facebook post wrote.

The post went on to ask how the Federal Territories minister expects to earn the residents’ trust with these types of stealthy moves happening.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Save Taman Rimba Kiara Working Group coordinator Leon Koay said residents are livid.

Save Taman Rimba Kiara Working Group coordinator Leon Koay said residents are livid after the removal of the Taman Rimba Kiara road signage. — Picture courtesy of Selamatkan Taman Rimba Kiara
Save Taman Rimba Kiara Working Group coordinator Leon Koay said residents are livid after the removal of the Taman Rimba Kiara road signage. — Picture courtesy of Selamatkan Taman Rimba Kiara

“It certainly looks like a deliberate step towards erasing the park as we have known it.

“Specifically by who, we don’t know at this point, but is it coincidence that DBKL tried to rename the park recently?” he asked when contacted.

He added that the KL mayor had promised the that poles would be removed.

“So I think at this point it was considered resolved on that basis,” he said.

Annuar was previously reported as saying DBKL would review the name change proposal and that it has not been officially done.

He also said that proposals to change the park’s name must go through a special committee that is chaired by the Federal Territories Ministry’s secretary-general.

On the park’s proposed development status, Annuar reportedly said his ministry will abide by the decisions made by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, that is, to allow development on part of the land while the rest is to remain as a public park.

Since then, Annuar had also ordered that no work be done pending a decision at the Court of Appeal.

He had also ordered for the trees to be untouched should any development take place on the park.

The Taman Rimba Kiara case, now in its fifth year, involves residents’ challenge against a development project consisting of nine apartment blocks, part of a joint venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.

TTDI residents contend that the project would destroy up to 10 hectares of green space, said to be one of KL’s last green lungs.

The development, if pushed through, would also affect residents of longhouses there that must be demolished to make way for the project.


 

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